January 31, 1919 - February 19, 2012
Victor Mintz passed away peacefully in Nelson, BC, Canada on February 19, 2012 at the age of 93. His passing was as gentle as could be. He was surrounded by his family. Fay, his wife of 64 years, held Victor's hand as Mozart played in the background and he just slowly slipped away from us. Victor was born in the East End of London, England in 1919. He grew up on Brick Lane in the bosom of a large, close-knit extended Jewish family. He was predeceased by his mother, Debbie, his father, Max as well as his beloved brother, Lenny. In the UK his sisters-in-law Dot (Gerard) and Millie; his nieces Blanche, Nicole (Guido) and Rachel and his nephews Alan (Anthea), Robert (Fay) and Matthew, and as well as many more relatives and treasured family friends the world over will miss him greatly. Victor served in the British Army during WWII. He returned home to marry the love of his life Fay in 1947. Their eldest daughter Brenda came along in 1948. In 1954 they packed all their worldly goods into their piano and moved to Canada to seek a better life. They settled in Calgary where their daughter Helen was born in 1956. She married John in 1989 and to Victor's great delight, late in life, he became a grandfather. Callum and Ryan were his pride and joy. The Mintz's Canadian life was filled with music, theatre, intellectual pursuits and great friendships. They were founding members of Musical Theatre of Calgary, The Calgary Opera Society and Calgary Pro Musica, but Victor was especially fond of his membership in the Alberta Sceptics Club. He would often ferry passengers to their destination in his trusty vehicle; license plate PunGent. He published a book titled Musical Cheers: A Music & Opera Lover's Guide to Humorous Verse in 2001 of which he was most proud. An opening limerick read:
"I know my verses don't scan
But I do the best that I can
Opera praises rhapsodic
Are somewhat spasmodic
They come when the fit hits the fan."
When he was merely 80 Brenda and Helen turned the limerick tables on him producing this quintessential ditty -
From Olde London Town came a gent
Who cracked puns wherever he went
His subjects were various
His punch lines never precarious
But his grandkids didn't get what they meant.
Victor was a raconteur extraordinaire and many were blessed to enjoy his wit in the prime of its seasoning. We'll miss you Victor/ Daddy/Papa/Grandpa/Uncle/Friend. Most especially whenever we hear a good groaner.
Published in The Calgary Herald on Mar. 3, 2012